Fatah and Hamas agreed that future Palestinian resistance to Israel will utilize popular and peaceful means, rather than military moves, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared yesterday.
In an interview with the Euronews channel in Brussels, Abbas recounted his meeting with Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal about a month ago.
“We set the agreement’s pillars, and Hamas agreed with us that resistance will be popular and adopt peaceful ways, rather than military resistance,” the Palestinian president said. “The solution is the establishment of a state in the 1967 borders, and Hamas agreed to that, as well as to holding the elections on May 5, 2012.”
The surprising statements were made a day before another meeting is slated to be held in Cairo where the two Palestinian movements will be discussing the implementation of their reconciliation agreement.
‘Palestinians ready for state’
Notably, Abbas’ declaration contradicts various statements issued by Hamas this week on the occasion of its 24th anniversary. In one case, the group said that “resistance will continue in all its forms, as the movement’s favored way until victory, the liberation of Palestine and the return of refugees.”
In his remarks Saturday, Abbas also emphasized the Palestinian readiness for a state and the change underwent by the Palestinians in the past decade.
“We are a people under occupation, we demand independence and believe in peace and in international law, and we’re also implementing the culture of peace in our country,” he said. “Our institutions are ready and we received confirmation from the World Bank, from the International Monetary Fund and from donor countries.”
Abbas also characterized Israel as a peace refusenik and charged that to some extent the United States supports the Jewish state’s approach. He added that the Palestinians are trying to make clear that peace is not only a Palestinian interest, but also an Israeli, regional and international interest.